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January

Deathmask

Dir En Grey's very first show.

  • 4. – La:Sadie's performs at 江坂BOOMIN HALL.
  • 6. – La:Sadie's performs at 名古屋MUSIC FARM.
  • 7. – La:Sadie's performs at 名古屋MUSIC FARM.
  • 8. – La:Sadie's performs at 名古屋MUSIC FARM.
  • 9. – La:Sadie's performs at 名古屋MUSIC FARM.
  • 10. – La:Sadie's performs at 大阪GUILD.
  • 12. – La:Sadie's performs at 広島NAMIKI JUNKTION.
  • 15. – La:Sadie's performs at 大阪 a.m.HALL and disbands after the show.
  • 23. – Kyo, Kaoru, Die and Shinya travel to Nagano and meet up with Toshiya in a parking lot. From there, they drive to his parents' place, where they spend the night.
  • 24. – Kyo, Kaoru, Die, Toshiya and Shinya book two hours of studio time to practice. At the show, they covered around four songs by 黒夢 (Kuroyume) under the name "DEATHMASK". Toshiya also performed with D†L as their support guitarist.
Lives in January
Date Venue Tour/Event
24.01.1997 長野LIVE HOUSE J Unknown event


February

02. – Kyo, Kaoru, Die, Toshiya and Shinya form Dir En Grey (then stylised as Dir en grey).

The exact date was provided in the magazine Dir en greyやろうぜ (Dir en grey Yarōze) in 1999. The band name is a combination of German "dir", French "en" and English "grey" and, according to an interview in Apres Guerre #19 (March 1997), was thought to mean "Grey Silver Coin" (灰色の銀貨 (Haiiro no Ginka)). It was supposed to convey a music and an image that wasn't caught by neither black nor white, so they picked "grey".

Interestingly, there's a demo tape released in 1995 by the visual-kei band Lareine, one of the songs on that tape is called "Dir en gray". It opens with the line 灰色のあなたに dir en gray (Haiiro no anata ni dir en gray), which both means "To you in gray" and would actually fit the intended meaning of the words, as opposed to "Grey Silver Coin". In the aforementioned interview, Kyo mentions that he knew that phrase before, so Lareine's song is most likely the source for Dir en grey's band name. This was further corroborated by Kaoru in the WOWOW Special interview in 2020, where he explained that they took the name from the song of a band that was famous at that time. Why they thought that "dir" means "silver coin" remains unclear, but they would later become aware of their mistake.

In turn, Lareine got the name "Dir en gray" from a band called Dir & Gray, a visual-kei band that was active around 1991. The original meaning behind the name was "dill of grey colour" (dill is usually white) and was coined by guitarist SHOW. Interestingly, their name was written with the same Katakana as Dir En Grey, ディル・アン・グレイ, even though "and" would be written as アンド (ando) in Japanese.

According to an interview in Shellruby #1 (1998), the band had around 20 possible names and decided on "Dir En Grey" at a family restaurant. At first, Kyo and Toshiya didn't like it, they thought it sounded uncool and too similar to "GLAY". According to Toshiya on the radio show Nack5 FM Triangle Super Audition, one of the other names the members had in mind was "Kisaragi". It was taken from a high school band of Toshiya. According to Kyo in the same WOWOW Special interview, in the end, it came down to two or three options, and three people voted for "Dir En Grey", whereas he and one other member voted for different names.

Lives in February
Date Venue Tour/Event


March

DirEnGrey1997

Dir En Grey in March 1997.

In March 1997, Dir En Grey joined their friends in 覇叉羅 on their tour. They also recorded their first demo tape, titled 業 / 蒼い月, at M4 Studio in Osaka.

Lives in March
Date Venue Tour/Event
31.03.1997 名古屋CLUB QUATTRO JENOSIDE ZONE Vol.5


April

In April 1997, the tour with 覇叉羅 continued. Later, Dir En Grey performed a secret show at an event at 川崎 CLUB CITTA'. According to Kaoru in Shellruby #1 (1998), the band had created five or six songs on April 28.

Lives in April
Date Venue Tour/Event
01.04.1997 難波W'OHOL JENOSIDE ZONE Vol.5
04.04.1997 博多DRUM LOGOS JENOSIDE ZONE Vol.5
24.04.1997 渋谷ON AIR WEST JENOSIDE ZONE Vol.5
27.04.1997 川崎CLUB CITTA' クラブチッタ川崎主催イベント


May

In May 1997, Dir En Grey officially made their live debut. According to Kaoru in Shellruby #1 (1998), they recorded their debut EP MISSA in the first ten or so days of May and created four or five new songs until their debut live. According to Toshiya in the same magazine, they spent three nights in the studio.

16. & 17. – Dir En Grey has photoshoots for the MISSA booklet and the GARDEN music video.

30. – Kaoru appears on the radio show PowerRockRevolution. The 業 / 蒼い月 demo tape can be heard in the background. You can listen to the interview here.

Lives in May
Date Venue Tour/Event
30.05.1997 難波ROCKETS HYPER MIX
31.05.1997 難波ROCKETS 結成記念ワンマン


June

In June 1997, Dir En Grey only played three shows, one of them a secret show at an event. At each of the other two shows, they distributed a special message tape.

Lives in June
Date Venue Tour/Event
13.06.1997 目黒鹿鳴館 NEO Behind the Mask
14.06.1997 目黒鹿鳴館
27.06.1997 大阪COWBOY WORLD


July

MissaAdd

An ad for the instore event on July 13.

In July 1997, Dir En Grey released their debut EP MISSA in Japan. They also appeared on various TV shows, at instore events and participated in the SHOCK WAVE'97 vol.2 tour.

03. – Instore Event at Osaka DEAD ONE.

04. – Instore Event at Kyoto JEUGIA Sanjo Main Store.

13. – Instore Event at Shinjuku LIKE AN EDISON.

18. – Instore Event at Shibuya INDIES HOUSE.

20. – Instore Event at Harajuku ROCK LOVE.

25. – Release of MISSA.

25. (earliest) – Kyo, Kaoru and Die appear on the TV show Jee Jee Trap. You can watch it here.

26. – Instore Event at Osaka JEEZ Shinsaibashi Store.

27. – Instore Event at Osaka Miyako Shinsaibashi Store M-Cube.

29. – Instore Event at Tokyo Shinseido Quartier 5 Shinjuku Store.

Lives in July
Date Venue Tour/Event
26.07.1997 難波W'OHOL SHOCK WAVE'97 vol.2
31.07.1997 川崎CLUB CITTA' SHOCK WAVE'97 vol.2


August

01. – Kaoru and Toshiya appear on the radio show PowerRockRevolution. You can watch it here.

02. – Dir En Grey appears on the TV show ROCK STREET. It is unknown where and when the GARDEN performance was recorded. You can watch it here.

10. – Instore Event at Shinjuku Teito Radio.

15. – Kyo, Kaoru and Die appear on the radio show PowerRockRevolution. You can watch it here

Lives in August
Date Venue Tour/Event
02.08.1997 大阪COWBOY WORLD ~MISSA発売記念LIVE~
03.08.1997 大阪COWBOY WORLD ~MISSA発売記念LIVE~
07.08.1997 新宿LOFT ~MISSA発売記念LIVE~
08.08.1997 新宿LOFT ~MISSA発売記念LIVE~
21.08.1997 市川CLUB GIO SHOCK WAVE'97 vol.2
23.08.1997 上野水上野外音楽堂 Neo Behind the Mask
27.08.1997 川崎CLUB CITTA' Behind the Mask
30.08.1997 心斎橋MUSE HALL Dir en grey Presents
MAZOHYST OF DECADENCE SHOW


September

In September 1997, Dir En Grey continued the tours they had begun a month earlier. They also played on the EXPERIENCE EYES'97 event. Most notable is the show on 15. September, one of the shows where they performed with and covers of other bands.

??. – Dir En Grey appears on the TV show Hot Wave. You can watch it here.

Lives in September
Date Venue Tour/Event
01.09.1997 難波W'OHOL SHOCK WAVE'97 vol.2
07.09.1997 名古屋HEART LAND STUDIO Dir en grey Presents
MAZOHYST OF DECADENCE SHOW
14.09.1997 目黒鹿鳴館 Dir en grey Presents
MAZOHYST OF DECADENCE SHOW
15.09.1997 目黒鹿鳴館 Dir en grey Presents
MAZOHYST OF DECADENCE SHOW
18.09.1997 赤坂BLITZ EXPERIENCE EYES'97


October

Lives in October
Date Venue Tour/Event
28.10.1997 渋谷ON AIR WEST CRUCIFY OF MARIA TO “MISSA”
あなたの『美的・発情・香』を呼び起こす
30.10.1997 心斎橋MUSE HALL CRUCIFY OF MARIA TO “MISSA”
あなたの『美的・発情・香』を呼び起こす


November

??. – The band had a meeting in the morning and an interview in the afternoon. Later, Shinya and Kyo went to Toshima-en, an amusement park in Tokyo.

25. – Release of the omnibus album Behind the Mask vol.2 1997 -SOL'FINSTERRE-. Dir En Grey participates with Ash.

Lives in November
Date Venue Tour/Event


December

15. – Release of the mail-order version of 「楓」~if trans~ CRYSTAL VIDEO BOX.

Lives in December
Date Venue Tour/Event
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